By Logan Hall
A power outage left many Ojai residents and businesses in the dark Monday night as the Ventura County Fire Department was called out to determine the source of smoke venting from the street. At about 9:30 p.m. a retired Los Angeles firefighter noticed the power outage followed by smoke venting from an electrical vault under the pavement on Matilija Street and called 911 according to Capt. Mike Eul of VCFD Ojai Station 21. Eul confirmed that there was smoke venting from the vault, but said there was no fire damage. “When we got to Matilija Street,” said Eul, who had responded to the call with his crew, “we noticed an electrical vault in the middle of the street that was smoking. We blocked off the road to traffic until Edison arrived.”
More than 2,500 Ojai Southern California Edison customers north of Country Club Drive and west of Gridley Road had their power interrupted due to a “failed underground component,” said SCE spokesman Paul Klein. SCE crews restored power to all customers at 10:53 p.m. according to Klein.
Both the VCFD and SCE stated that no fire was involved with the incident, but the crew from Station 21 stayed on scene until Edison gained control of the situation.